Charlotte Yarns in the Making
I came to Charlotte to visit my lovely family for a week around Halloween and brought my Spinolution Bee!! Snazz, snazz all-around – there’s no other way to describe it. I have much love for the Spinolution wheels, much appreciation for Mike who makes them in California (he chats with me through any questions or difficulties I might have), and much respect for the Bee. The Bee is like the Mini-Me of my wheel at home, the Mach II.
There’s a zany story about how its treadles landed under my feet, and I’d been in the market for a super-compact travel wheel, but not RIGHT NOW. It just was kind of like how people who want a kid sometimes get them earlier than they planned, or how people suddenly find themselves with a puppy or a kitten. It’s all good.
Ultimately, it’s awesome to have this teensy wheel for travelling. My Mach II is super huge and is great for making giant, furry, chunky-monkey yarns and has very large bobbins. But it also weighs a lot and requires trunk space in the back of a car to lay it down flat and take it out on tour. It’s so big, I call it Ferris, because it’s giant like a ferris wheel. The Bee on the other hand folds down into a teensy rectangular box shape and has a built in lazy kate for 3 bobbins, albeit smaller than the Mach II’s. I’ll save my super chunky or hairy yarns for the Mach II and make my plain-old-bulky yarns and thick & thins on the Bee while out & about.
I took it to Ross before I left town and had it try on a bunch of carry-on suitcase outfits. I also brought my measuring tape and a paper with notes from Delta and Continental on it. It has a personality like mine, I guess, because it chose an orange suitcase. Tommy Hilfiger, no less. $45 for the carry on, too! Not bad at all, and there’s zipper space in the front for fiber and yarn. Suave.
At the airport, I got a little shake-down from Continental Airlines at the gate, saying it was “too big” since the expandable zippers were unzipped. But ultimately, it’s only “too big” if the plane is totally full and everyone in your area wants to put a carry on above them. The suitcase fits overhead even with the expandable zippers unzipped, but not with the top handle pointing toward the aisle, only stowed sideways. The good news is, if this is an issue, I can take the wheel out of the luggage, zip up the expandable zipper and put the wheel underneath the seat in front of me. So either way, no biggie. Seem like too many details? If you’re a spinner looking for a travel wheel, these things are good to know. I was in NO WAY going to check the luggage under any condition, because it’s a spinning wheel, not a basketball.
This was truly valuable to know for the second leg of our flight – sweartagod it was smaller than a Hawaiian inter-island plane and it was a 4 hour flight (Are you KIDDING ME?) and there were two seats on the right of the aisle and one seat on the left of the aisle and those on the right side had no overhead compartments at all. Shay woke up and said “Are we there yet?” And I said, “No, another hour,” and he took these pictures out his window.
Needless to say, we all made it in one piece (after a weatherly delay, around 3AM, but nonetheless) … I woke up the next day to glorious Charlotte Fall Leaves and my baby niece, who strings together sentences now! I gave her a baby hat I knitted and she’s darling. There are kind of no words that do justice.
Virtually every morning, Shay and I trek through the back alley paved walkways to the coffee shop where I can work remotely … there’s a wine and cheese bar nearby that we’ll walk to at night sometimes. The walks are the Ultimate Morning Walks. Everything is gorgeous and the weather is perfect.
They have moss everywhere here.
And English Ivy grows on the trees wildly, just because.
(I could now wax poetic for a thousand years about my neverending, undying, hope-we-die-together-in-our-sleep love for this guy, but I’ll spare everyone I guess).
In the evenings after work, my brother and sister-in-law and I sit around on the sofas and watch whatever’s on. I’ve spun a couple neat yarns since I’ve been here – I have to fill up two bobbin’s full to get a nice sized skein of my bulky yarn. Here’s some hand-dyed handspun yarn pics in lovely fall colors, made of merino and soysilk.
Peace-out for now, there’s more to come.